Warburg, Tencent back Chinese bike sharing company

Private equity firms TPG and Beijing-based Hillhouse Capital have also invested in Mobike alongside Chinese hospitality companies.

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings have led the latest funding round of Beijing-based bike sharing company Mobike.

Along with Warburg and Tencent, existing investors Beijing-based private equity firm Hillhouse Capital and venture capital firm Sequoia China joined the round. Meanwhile new investors in Mobike include US private equity firm TPG as well as online travel company Ctrip and Huazhu Hotels Group.

Mobike raised a total of $215 million in Series D funding from investors, but individual commitments were not disclosed.

Mobike, which launched its first smart bike in Shanghai in April 2016, is looking to ramp up its services into more Chinese cities and around the world. The company currently offers its bike sharing services – equipped with GPS and smart-lock technology – to nine cities across China including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Warburg’s investment in Mobike came solely from Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII, a $13.4 billion fund raised in 2015 and counts the Washington State Investment Board, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and the New York State Common Retirement Fund as some of its investors, according to PEI data.

In December last year, the firm raised another $2 billion for its China-focused fund, Warburg Pincus China, a sidecar vehicle which would invest in China alongside the Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII fund.

Commenting on the latest investment Frank Wei, co-head at Warburg Pincus China, said: “We look for companies that are building for long-term growth, and in Mobike we see a company that is a clear leader in its industry, uniquely forward looking and relentlessly focused on creating the best possible platform to capture the long-term opportunity in the bike-sharing market.”

“With its strong financial position and enormous addressable market, we are very excited about Mobike’s potential for growth.”

Meanwhile Tencent, which previously backed Hillhouse Capital and venture firm DCM-Doll Capital Management, recently teamed up with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to invest in location services company HERE.